Your right to be forgotten – Are you in control?

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Recently Mr Jaaskinen gave his recommendation that national data protection agency can not ask Google to remove personal information from its search engine index.

Let me give you a little background of this case. This case is between Spanish Data Protection Agency and Google. In 2009, a spanish man reported that Google is surfacing links about him which are no longer relevant. He requested that these links should be removed. In his opinion, those links were damaging his reputation. Google declined his request and so he reported this case to Spanish Data Protection Agency. Spanish Data Protection Agency filed a case against Google. Now it seems court might consider Mr. Jaaskinen’s recommendations that Google can not be held responsible for surfacing sensitive or damaging data about the user.

That is the nature of Internet.

We publish information about ourselves at many places, create accounts in tens of websites and leave our digital footprints on the web everywhere. Do we want everyone in the world to know about everything we do on the Internet? Probably not.

If we are around and notice that information we would prefer to be hidden is surfacing – may be we can challenge and if possible remove that content. Often, we can be in control if we are around – but what if we are not around to challenge it? Could this information damage reputation, hurt sentiments or incur financial loss for your family members, friends or colleagues? Probably yes.  

When we launched Planned Departure, one of the thing we had in mind was the control. User should be able to control their digital estate during their life and should be able to make arrangements for their digital estate after their life

Planned Departure lets user leave instructions to their beneficiaries so that they can fulfil the wishes of the one who has departed – It’s our way of ensuring that user has control and user can decide (or at least request to someone he or she trust) what happens to their digital estate after they are gone.

Where would you leave your control – to someone you trust or to a big organization’s policy, which will be changed and enforced on your profile – even if you are not around to comment / decline or protest about it. Let’s discuss. 

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